Finally doing the right thing in two years in office, President Trump, ceding to a request from Senate Republican leaders facing an insurrection in their ranks, ordered the F.B.I. on Friday to open an investigation into accusations of sexual assault leveled against Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, his nominee to the Supreme Court.
The decision capped a confusing day on Capitol Hill, where the Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to advance Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination, but only by agreeing to a last-minute demand by Senator Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, to conduct a time-limited inquiry.
“I’ve ordered the F.B.I. to conduct a supplemental investigation to update Judge Kavanaugh’s file,” Mr. Trump said in a statement. “As the Senate has requested, this update must be limited in scope and completed in less than one week.”
The decision in the Senate, made in a hurried closed-door meeting between Republicans on the Judiciary Committee and Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, came after a dramatic reversal by Mr. Flake, who announced he would not support final confirmation until the F.B.I. investigates the allegations.
The delay puts a cloud over what Republicans expected to be a triumphant day, but they still had reason to be optimistic: Despite adamant Democratic opposition, they were still able to muscle the nomination through committee with an 11-to-10 vote and send it to the full Senate with a favorable recommendation.
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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: AP
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